The festive season cannot truly begin until you have been to the Pantomime. A proper thigh slapping, sing a long, shout at the stage pantomime. Whilst you may know the story, or think you do, and whilst you know that there will be a scary ghost of some kind which takes away 1 cast member one by one, there is nothing more exciting than shouting 'oh yes it is' at a stage and watching your child jump up and down with joy.
Our Pantomime this year was Jack and the Beanstalk at the Cast theatre in Doncaster. We have seen several shows at Cast and love its comfy modern theatre, which is accommodating to families and easily accessible by car, train and bus. We began our evening by getting into the pantomime spirit and playing with some props in a selfie studio, and of course with the pantomime dame heads!
It was not long before it was time to take our seats and watch Jack and the Beanstalk. Only we noticed a large proportion of the audience signing to each other, something I had not noticed before at the theatre. The pantomime started with 'fairy nuff' who introduced us to fairy fingers. Fairy fingers, a fully integrated part of the pantomime. A fully integrated character and part of the story, nothing unusual there you may think, but fairy fingers does not say a word all show. She may not say a word but she still tells the story, she tells the story through British Sign Language and she is on stage the entire time. Not stood on stage in a corner under a spot light, but a character in the show and my word I was in awe. Fairy fingers is utterly amazing, completely captivating and I spent more of the pantomime watching her than I did any of the other characters.
At the start of the show as the deaf community clapped by waving their hands in the air, it was obvious who was signing and who was not, but as the show progressed something amazing happened, more and more people began to sign. They waved their hands to show clapping, they were giving thumbs up, and more and more people tried to sign along with fairy fingers. This in itself is something I have never seen before, to captivate that many people and engage them was just an unbelievable sight. Although there was never a feeling of the signing and the speaking, there was a real buzz as we left the show, a joining of communities and of bringing people together and this can only be described as the true meaning of Christmas. Bringing people together.
What Cast have achieved with their pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk needs to, no it MUST continue in other aspects of theatre. Having the first fully integrated British Sign Language Pantomime in Britain right here in South Yorkshire makes me very proud. To have witnessed it first hand made me emotional. Cast have done South Yorkshire proud and if you are planning on visiting a pantomime this year you need to witness the groundbreaking performance first hand and watch Jack and the Beanstalk at Cast in Doncaster.
3 days later and I am still in complete amazement and want to shout about what Cast have achieved and how they have created not only a traditional British pantomime but added to it the true meaning of Christmas, a welcoming and joining together of communities.
This day I love Oh yes it is
I received 1 free ticket but paid for 4 other tickets to attend the pantomime. I have not been asked to write this post and all words are my own opinion.